Amid growing concern about food waste in Qatar, a local charity is renewing efforts to collect and distribute leftover meals to the country’s needy.
For the past several years, the Sheikh Eid Charity Association has offered a pickup service to collect leftover food from homes, hotels and restaurants, following special occasions like weddings or banquets, where large quantities of food are usually thrown away.
According to charity director Mohammad Ibrahim, response to the group’s program has been overwhelming in recent months.
In a statement, he said that the charity has increased its staff and has been working around the clock to manage the surge.
Employees make around 50 trips a day to pick up food donations around Qatar, which must be checked to ensure its quality and distributed quickly before it spoils.
The charity typically distributes some 25,000 meals a month to workers and families in need around Qatar, using 11 mini-vans.
But donations can ebb and flow based on the season. Last month for example, the charity received 10 tons of food in two days – enough to make more than 4,000 meals – which it distributed to 3,000 workers in Sinaeya, Abu Hamour and Shahaniya.
Last month also proved busy because the charity participated in the recent Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF). There, it worked to raise awareness regarding consumption and encouraged companies and hotels participating in the event to give away the leftover food from the festival to those in need.
Another very active time is during the month of Ramadan, where it is estimated that some 25 percent of food goes to waste because community members and hotels hold such lavish iftaar dinners.
How it works
Speaking to Doha News, a volunteer in the program said the pickup service is only offered when there are large amounts of food, enough for 10 to 20 people.
“Large amounts of leftover food need to be transported and distributed by vans, but small amounts can easily be distributed by the donors themselves,” the volunteer explained.
The charity has several centers in Qatar, including the main center in Madinat Khalifa North, as well as branches in Al Shahaniya, Abu Hamour, Al Khor and Al Wakrah, according to the volunteer.
Those who wish to donate smaller amounts of food can drop them off at one of these locations.
To dispatch a pickup van, residents can call the charity’s operators 24/7 at 66665121. On Friday, operators are available from 4pm.
In addition to leftovers, donations can include rice, cooking oil, sugar and lean meat. No cash is accepted.
Though Qatar is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita, many of its residents struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.
In addition to distributing meals to Qatar’s many low-income construction workers, priority is given to the families of widows, divorced female residents and those who suffer from chronic diseases.
Since the leftover pickup service was launched in 2008, the charity has also extended its distribution outside of Qatar, to Syrian refugees and those in need in Mauritania.
“Though Qatar is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita, many of its residents struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.” How come?
Everything is expensive here, and private companies offer low salary. Hence how to meet the high price here.
1. Competition should increase.
2. GCC Common Market should be implemented on ground and not on papers.
3. Supply of housing should be increased to lower the shortage hence bring the prices down.
Theoretically it is right, but in practise it is not easy to implement. While the first point is doable, the second point is related to politics and thus hardly achievable, and the third is practically not possible, as all efforts now are channeled towards finalizing the 2022 projects
Why do Qataris who own businesses and accommodation to rent want to do any of that?
Would you voluntarily reduce your salary to make your company more successful?
I agree and to add
1-should have entertainment venues (amusement parks, water parks, laser tags,pubs,)
2-besides more quantity of housing, must have quality housing
3-should have more women in the country since it is a gay fest now
4-Should have professional standards and mentality in the country since most ppl here r so dumb
You didn’t read the brochure before coming? 🙂
your attempt to sound sarcastic and witty has failed, you sound retarded
Deleting for personal attack.
If you can not take the heat, do not respond or reply to my comments
Guess what, they’ve decided to make you the Prime Minister. You have mentioned all that nobody else in Qatar knew about. So hurry, get your tux ready.
well we have to post it a 1000 times hoping that this country will one day learn…lol
many of the slave foreigners from Asia,and Africa
So which citizens are needy and need to rely on food handouts?
It can’t be any of the expats as they need to have a job to be here. Surely no one would work for a salary that would not even provide enough for food.
I seriously hope you’re being sarcastic.
MIMH Leaves in another imaginary world, not Qatar it seems
You missed the point. It is not Eid and sharing your food with others as an act of kindness it is subsidising corrupt employers whose employees need a box campaign for basic necessities and now we hear that charities have to provide food for poor expats. Expats that have jobs!
I think u missed the point that majority of the expats in qatar are low income laborers living outside the city.. Most have been cheated by recruitment agencies and employers here and end up with wages barely enough to survive.. And you could only wish it was easy as just packing up and going back home..
The answer is quite simple and it would stop this happening. If they want to go home Qatar should provide them a ticket, if they have been cheated by the recruitment agency back home and given a huge debt the govt of their country should declare that illegal and they don’t have to pay.
The last bit will not happen as the Embassies and Government Officials in their home countries are in on the scam and will want to protect their revenue stream. They don’t care about the misery of their own people.
dude this is happening because of public policy and lack of accountability in the country so companies are able to do this but they could never do it in other countries
You can simply speak to one of the many labourers living in labor camps to understand if how they survive on the measly income they get after being cheated by recruitmen agencies
Part of your answer is in the article “widows and divorcees with chronic diseases”. There are disadvantaged Qataris as well but do you really think they will wave their hands in the air and announce it in such an image based society?
Regarding the low income expats, would it be better to let the food rot just to make a point? I agree that the community shouldn’t be supporting a person with a job but realistically these employees aren’t going to think…” oh the community is not giving them handouts, we should raise their salaries”. If they havent increased their standard of living by now they won’t without outside pressure.
This is a commendable effort, its not east to collect and distribute within time to avoid food getting spoilt. Great job by all involveld, this should hopefully give the recipients an opportunity to have decent meals.
It would be even better if their salary gave the recipients and opportunity to have decent meals.